NWPPA Honors Darrel Purkerson for Service to Columbia River PUD, Public Power

Darrel Purkerson was joined by his wife Helen, his daughter Dana Hammer, and his son-in-law Keith Hammer, at the awards presentation.

May 30, 2013 – Longtime Columbia River People’s Utility District (PUD) supporter and former Board Member Darrel Purkerson has received the John M. George Public Service Award from the Northwest Public Power Association (NWPPA). With this annual award, NWPPA honors a policymaking officer of a member system who has demonstrated remarkable service to public power. Purkerson also received the Life Member Award from NWPPA, which honors retiring policymakers for their work on behalf of public power.

“Darrel has always been a capable, effective and well-spoken advocate of public power,” said PUD General Manager Kevin Owens. “His tenacity, dedication and leadership were a great benefit to Columbia River PUD and its customers, and we are very proud that NWPPA has recognized his efforts with these awards.”

Purkerson is a long-time advocate of public power and was a staunch supporter of the PUD long before he became a customer. As chief petitioner for PUD annexation elections in 1997, 1998 and 1999, he spent hundreds of hours extolling the benefits of being a PUD customer. When the PUD began serving 6,000 additional customers in St. Helens, Scappoose, and Columbia City in 2000, Purkerson was appointed and then elected to the PUD Board.

During his 13 years on the PUD Board, Purkerson served as Board President, Vice President, and Treasurer. He also participated in many committees and activities for the Oregon PUD Association, the Northwest Public Power Association and the American Public Power Association.

Purkerson is a retired pharmacist who owned his own pharmacy in St. Helens for several years and now works part-time for other local pharmacies. He and his wife, Helen, live in St. Helens. They have two children and three grandchildren.